Past the living room chess set, on the way to the front door of a Gwinnett County home stands a farm tended to by the 12-year-old who lives there. Thanks to the 12 vertical farm stands donated by Lettuce Grow, Malon James has become Georgia’s youngest certified hydroponic farmer.

“I grow a lot of produce here, like tomatoes, strawberries, and definitely blue kale,” James explained as he showed 11Alive the vertical farm stands sitting in the foyer of his house. 
“I think hydroponics is the best way to combat food insecurity,” he said. “One hydroponic can feed more than 100 people—just one. Just imagine if you had 12. This food is healthy for you.”

Most of what James grows, he gives away. He makes regular trips to his local food bank, the Southeast Gwinnett Cooperative Ministry, a place that prides itself on providing quality, healthy food. “We know that some folks that don’t have enough money tend to buy calories, but the fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, milk, those things are more expensive at the grocery store.